PFRs for TaskMator

I feel like sharing some public feedback requests for TaskMator 3.0. ūüėĀ

In TaskMator, turning on the Show Badge Number¬†option will display the number of tasks that are not done within¬†the open‚ÄĒor most recently opened‚ÄĒdocument.

Since saved searches work across the app1, I’d love an additional option in Settings ‚Üí Advanced, right below the Show Badge Number option.

(1) Apply saved search for badge number

At its current iteration, it’s an unrealistic indicator of my workload for the day to display a super high number (like 299).

Coming from Things, here are their Badge Count settings:

  • None
  • Due Items
  • Due + Today
  • Due + Today + Inbox

In TaskMator, adding the option to select a saved search for your app badge means you have the power to make a more complex saved search!

With the help of a Mac, the current alternative that is “easier” would be to:

  • Duplicate the existing TaskPaper file.
  • Run your desired saved search manually in TaskPaper for each document.
  • Expand everything, copy to clipboard, Go to Home (Shift-CMD-H), Select All (CMD-A), and Paste (CMD-V)
  • Rename the document.
  • On your iOS device, open TaskMator to refresh everything.

Gosh.

Now that I describe that workflow, it sounds ridiculous. I can press a few keyboard shortcuts in rapid, furious succession. After I learn the groove, it’s not a big deal to me.

Short of trying to configure¬†a script to generate/update a daily file, which you’d then sync with your Dropbox folder, this is okay with me.

(2) In the main documents folder, add a right-to-left swipe option to designate a file for the app badge.

This would save time going to Settings ‚Üí Advanced.

(3) Support latest date-based queries.

I tried some searches in TaskMator that work in TaskPaper 3. No joy. It definitely isn’t the end of the world, so I moved on.

This one is lowest on this list because I have no idea how long the other two requests will take, and I really should keep this simple.

Should. ūüėČ


  1. That is, not document-specific. 

TaskPaper and my iPhone

I wrote a comment in a previous post (Considering TaskPaper 3)¬†to describe how I could¬†add information to my TaskPaper files¬†with Siri using Reminders and Drafts. Check that out. Now,¬†I’ll briefly¬†explain how I’ve worked with my TaskPaper files¬†on my iPhone so far.

My decision to get¬†TaskMator was based on¬†Gabe Weatherhead’s reviews on Macdrifter. I recommend reading them first. ūüôā

This morning, I also listened to¬†Episode 026 ‚ÄĒ Old Stock Ale and Task Management from¬†Nerds on Draft (an episode from a year ago), which includes some discussion about TaskPaper and TaskMator. (See show notes.)

Anyway. I haven’t¬†used the alarm feature yet. Filtering¬†by project or tag works well. Same with search from the home screen, which seems fast.¬†I’m also fiddling¬†with saved searches:


Due
(@due or @today or @flag) and not @done

Not @done
not (type = note or @done)

Quick tasks <= 15m
@time <= 15 and not (type = note or @done)


At the moment, I omit the notes in some saved searches because I use often include notes. (In the TaskPaper app, I collapse these quickly. All from my keyboard, loving it.) With the above syntax, that¬†means done tasks aren’t displayed even though¬†the notes under those tasks are technically not marked as done.

Anyway, the goal is to narrow the scope of my tasks. I might create two dupes that include notes for more detail.

For adding stuff to my TaskPaper files, I have several actions in Drafts that prepends the chosen draft.

  • TP (Personal)
  • TP (Personal, done)
  • TP (Personal, added)

For the second and third, those are for instances where I only have a single-line draft.1

When ready to clear my “inbox” at the top of the file, and on my iPhone, I can tap each task, and move it to my desired “project”.2 Or, using two fingers‚ÄĒtap and hold the bottom menubar, then proceed¬†tapping the other¬†tasks you’d like to manage‚ÄĒI can add the relevant tags, then move it to the correct project.

I’m not certain if the purpose of Taskmator is to use a one or two huge TaskPaper files. If you enable the badge number, and the most recent file you opened had over 250 tasks, your mind would go numb. I’d like the ability to designate a project for each TaskPaper file, but I imagine using¬†a different setting for separate files¬†would be tough to implement.

Even¬†though I’ve gotten comfortable with Things,¬†I’m pleased with TaskMator!

 


  1. ¬†See also: My Habit of Noting Timestamps 
  2. Remember:¬†I use “projects”‚ÄĒas labeled with TaskPaper files and apps‚ÄĒas “Areas” to combine¬†a broad¬†group of related¬†items. 

Thoughts for moving from Things to TaskPaper

Dimitry Jacobs helped me remember¬†that I could copy several¬†to-dos from Things into a text editor in one step‚ÄĒlike TextWrangler (Mac)‚ÄĒor an entire project into a notes app like Simplenote or Drafts (iOS).

(See: Emailing To-Dos ‚ÄĒ Things Support)

Mac

You can send emails containing the titles and notes of your to-dos by dragging them out of Things for Mac and into a message in Mail.

Let’s say you used Quick Entry with Autofill when saving a to-do associated with a webpage.

Things test todo 1.png

Things test todo 2.png

When you drag and drop those to-dos from Things into TextWrangler, both¬†notes are¬†enclosed within parentheses. (Not optimal.) In addition, the page title is saved for each¬†note, but the URL isn’t included. Deal breaker.

Things Mac drag and drop todos.png

Lastly, while you can copy multiple to-dos at once, you cannot copy a project and its to-dos, which means you’d need to manually copy and paste the project (along with its notes).

iPhone

In contrast with the Mac app, you:

  • Cannot copy multiple to-dos at once.
  • Can copy “the contents of an entire project”.
Things test project and todos.png
Preparation: Project to copy from Things for iPhone
Things iPhone share copy text.png
Result after project in Things was copied from iPhone

Process

As a workaround, the combination of the Things apps will speed up the workflow of migrating the rest of my to-dos and projects from Things to my TaskPaper files. I’ll explain “moving”¬†to-dos that aren’t meant to be in a project.

Note:¬†You can¬†skip steps 4‚Äď5 when you’re comfortable with the output.

  1. Mac (Things): Create a new, temporary project.
  2. Move‚ÄĒdrag and drop‚ÄĒall to-dos that are not in a project into the¬†temporary project.
  3. iPhone (Things): Copy the project. This text copy retains a bit more information‚ÄĒincluding any URLs, in a slightly nicer format‚ÄĒthan copying from the Mac app.
  4. iPhone (Simplenote): Paste contents into a new note.
  5. Mac (Simplenote): Copy the contents from Simplenote.
  6. Mac (TaskPaper): Paste the contents into TaskPaper.[^1] I paste into the top of the file.
  7. Mac (TaskPaper): Move the to-dos out of the temporary project and into my desired locations, then format to my liking.
  8. Mac (Things): After migrating the to-dos from an Area, move them¬†to another Area for safekeeping.[^2]¬†For example, along with¬†my “Automattic” Area, I created another titled “Automattic to TP”.[^3]

 

If you have Drafts, here’s an alternative to steps 3‚Äď5:

  • After copying the project from Things (which means it’s in your clipboard), use¬†Drafts’ Today Widget¬†by¬†tapping on the clipboard icon (“new draft from clipboard”).
  • In Drafts, run the appropriate Dropbox Action on the new draft to prepend its contents into the desired TaskPaper file.

 

A few other thoughts:

  • In TaskPaper, there isn’t an equivalent to¬†Areas (Things).
  • At the moment, I’m using two separate TaskPaper files: Automattic and Personal. These are my main “Areas”. ūüôā
  • One-off to-dos that don’t need an actual project go into a Todos project at the top of each¬†appropriate¬†TaskPaper¬†file.
  • iPhone: I’m trying TaskMator 3, which supports saved searches. (Yay!) I’m not sure I need to edit¬†my TaskPaper files heavily while I’m away from my laptop, so I decided¬†against¬†Editorial.